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I can’t believe it, but Thanksgiving is under two weeks away. Make sure you buy your turkey early this year. As we learned this week from Tim Mikeska, CEO of Mikeska Brands, avian flu has hit farms hard. Prices are up on and the supply is tight, especially on large birds.
Three companies reported earnings this week. Traeger reported a shocking 64.2% decline in grill sales over the same quarter last year. Some of the story is that consumers are buying less grills, but also retailers are destocking their inventory causing the sharp sales decline.
Traeger said that they plan on releasing two new grills in Q1 2023 that they’ve already shown select retailers. Beyond grills, they’ll have their consumables in 600 grocery stores by year end.
Over at Middleby, they’ve begun consolidated their three grill brands and hope to find synergies for margin expansion. On the top line, they are getting more retail floor space in 2023, and they’re broadening they’re retail channels to include specialty retailers. They said they’ll also have new product launches early in the year, with a new Kamado Joe product being sold into specialty retailers.
At Solo Brands, it was a completely different story, they actually turned in a pretty good quarter. Their new products are being well received and Solo Stove is expanding its wholesale distribution. They’re selling legacy Solo Stove’s into Costco and announced a partnership with Canadian Tire. On the knock-off front, they said they had a positive result in their suit with Duraflame who they allege stole their design.
In a marketing move, if you’re sick of the Yule log channel that’s traditionally shown around the holidays, Solo Stove has a solution. They’ve partnered with Frndly TV on a holiday Solo Stove channel that shows festive video of a Solo Stove fire pit burning.
With all of the Solo Stove imitators on the market, it’s great to see a company release a fire pit with a new design. American made grill and smoker brand Pitts & Spitts released a fire pit with a flat pack design. It’s all steel for durability and can be taken apart in seconds. It makes for easy storage in case you don’t want a fire pit in your yard year round.
While all of the other outdoor cooking companies have released earnings at this point, we’re still waiting on Weber to even schedule a release date. Despite their acquisition offer, they are rumored to have taken on $60 million in additional debt from BDT Capital. This takes their high leverage even higher. It will be an interesting earnings call, whenever it happens.
Pellet grill company recteq released a new grill this week. They launched the Bullseye Deluxe, which is an upgraded version of their old Bullseye. It’s designed to compete with a kettle grill and offers direct flame, pellet fueled cooking. The new version connects to your phone and promises temps up to 1,000° F.
Finally, Home Depot named Nexgrill a Vendor Partner of the Year. Nexgrill has had exclusive launches this year with Home Depot on grills such as the Neevo smart gas grill and Oakford pellet grill line. Their Daytona griddle was the fastest growing product in the griddle category at Home Depot.